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  CSPAN    U.S. House of Representatives    News/Business.  

    September 21, 2010
    5:00 - 8:00pm EDT  

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the management of the decisions that are made as to where these decisions go. when a transit system receives money from the federal government, that sets off a series of audits, both for the financial aspects -- was the money well spent? but also, in other aspects as well. for years, every publicly funded transit system in america has to go through that s. there is quite a bit of oversight already. the larger agencies also have internal audit functions. sometimes inspector general functions. there is a great deal of oversight, but again, as to whether any given system needs additional oversight is something that would have to be determined to locally.
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host: and gary as this, and, it is time to cut the defense budget by 20% and transfer it into the infrastructure repair. it will create more jobs for americans. caller's go to the next in tennessee. caller: if you would come all the c-span audience needs to listen up. he said there has been some bad projects. remember the big dig. it went over budget and it was shabby work. and right after it was open there was a man or woman went riding and the next thing you know concrete fell and killed the poor old lady. all these projects are sloppy work. plus, look at all but told places -- look at all the toll
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places and they are taking money to help pay for some of this highway stuff. listen up, c-span. remember the big dig. we did not even need the big dig. host: thanks for your comments. the is talking about the project in the boston area that cost over $1 billion. guest: there has certainly been some difficulty with some projects, no question about that. however, the infrastructure in boston has literally transform the city and most people would agree for the better. in its time, many projects look to be very expensive, but how about 50 years from now, 100 years from now? we can look back and say, gee, they had the foresight to build these projects when it was so
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cheap. the new york subway opened up in 1904 and it cost $35 million just to build a couple of miles of subway. today, that $35 million would not even begin to play -- to pay for the planning for an improvement like that. here we are 106 years later still getting benefit from the $35 million investment. if there is no doubt about it, a project can go bad, and can be mismanaged, but the vast majority of projects in america are well-managed, completed on time, completed in budget and yet they do not make the news because that is what is supposed to happen. it is the exception that makes the news. host: we're talking about american public transportation, mass transit and the obama administration is spending a fortune of $60 billion over the next six years as part of the dot outline. the president discussed this
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year on labor day monday. welcome, don. from texas. caller: i would like to ask mr. miller some questions. host: it is pronounced millar. caller: i heard that europe and other countries spend something like 5% on their infrastructure upkeep. if we spent two%. i am a proud -- we spent 2%. if i may proud independence. -- i'm a proud independent. if you look at our infrastructure, who uses mass transit more -- middle class, lower class, or upper class? i would say is middle or lower.
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guest: certainly, it depends on where you are. the certainly, the average bus- writer in america has a slightly lower income -- the average bus rider in america has a slightly lower income than the average american household. however, the express between fort worth and dallas, for example, it tends to be middle and upper income the use that. across america, all strata of society use public transportation and depending on where the transit goes and what type of transit it is combined with the market is that they are seeking to reach, it could be of -- it could be either very high income, that is with the commuter rail lines in new york or chicago or san francisco are an example of. it can be no american income americans going back and forth -- it can be middle-class
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american income going back and forth to work. it is a wide spectrum of people that use public transit. when i give these statistics some people are very surprised because some people believe only very low income people use public transit. surely, many low-income people do use public transit and that is a good thing. public transit is often the first up on the economic ladder that is part of the american dream that we talk about. but when you look across the 10 billion * that americans used -- and when you look at the 10 billion times that americans use public transit last year, is a wide array. host: you that about 15 miles from washington d.c. how much was the metro ride for you this morning? guest: it is 8 miles from where
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we are right now. my ride this morning -- because it was the peak of the peak, my ride was $3.60. i use what is called a smart card and my smart card enables me to load a certain amount of money on to that card and i use it every day, so i do not have to fumble for change or dollar bills every day. also, i'm fortunate to have an employer would takes advantage of federal tax law. many people know that their employer can give them free parking, but it is only in recent years that an employer can give free transit service and have the same tax treatment as free parking. my employer is able to provide me with about $130 per month to help offset by commuting costs. that particular law is set to expire at the end of december
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and one thing we are working on with congress is to make sure that there continues to be equal treatment between commuter parking and commuter transit benefits. host: two more calls. surely is joining us from iowa -- shirley is joining us from iowa. caller: i would like to make a comment from a previous talk. are you aware that more than half of american business is foreign-a onta? we have two -- more than half of american businesses are foreign- owned? we have two small businesses in this area and we were put out of business by foreign-owned business. i would like to say to the guest now, is he aware that back in the 1940's, there was a trial. big business was convicted here in the united states.
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the car companies, oil companies, tire companies had all colluded to sell off our public transportation systems and systematically picked them apart and sold them off or destroyed them? guest: yes, ma'am. the case you are referring to is generally known as the snow case. one of the best pieces that was written about it was written by a conservative leader, pol why record -- paul why rick. you can go to public noseband -- publictransportation.org and you can read about that important piece of our history.
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since you have raised the issue about -- indirectly about america by talking of our foreign-owned companies, when an investment is made in public transportation, the vast majority of the value of that investment, about -- the vast majority of the jobs created by that investments are for manufacturing and construction done right here in the u.s. host: following up on the 15, 16 miles both ways back and forth across he wants to know how long it takes and how much to park. guest: it takes me somewhere between 25 to 45 minutes depending on traffic.
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there is a parking rights in my building, which i believe charges $17 per day. my public transit ride, once i get on the train is 22 minutes and it takes me about six minutes to drive from the home to the park and ride and then a couple of minutes to walk across the street. it is about 30 minutes on the train and anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes when i have had to drive. obviously, if it is raining and snelling, those things make it worse. -- raining and snow wayne, those things may get worse in my car. host: last call from ohio. caller: maybe i am a bit confused. the public transit like amtrak and things like that, are they allowed to actually make a profit? or they just constraint? guest: amtrak is a public
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corporation. it is allowed to make a profit, however -- is allowed to make a profit. however, like most inner-city rail in the world, it does not. host: the president outlined it to weeks ago and is still concerned about the deficit. guest: i think with the president behind us and the work that mr. oberstar has done in the house and the work of the senator boxer and others in the senate, i'm hopeful that an agreement can be reached. i would be shocked if it were reached before the election. i think it would likely be more next spring or next summer. i would be interested to see how of members of congress would view this type of investment and we will see if the american people demand that it happened. i always like to complain that we do not have enough buses and
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the roads have pot holes. and yet, it takes more money to provide more buses and repair the roads. the congress does come together in a bipartisan way. i think it is just a matter of when, not if. host: [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> i underestimated how big the job was. i had not been the minority leader. i jumped from minority whip to speaker overnight and minority party that no one thought we were going to be in power, to a wave. the biggest one-party increase. >> newt gingrich on his tenure
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as house speaker, the state of american politics today and possible 2012 presidential bid sunday on c-span. >> you don't get to choose the month when the opportunity to shape your country comes your way. all you get to choose is what you do when it does. >> british deputy prime minister nick clegg, from the liberal democrat annual party conference sunday night at 9:00 on c-span. >> topics at today's white house briefing included the town hall meeting the president took part in, the general elections and u.s. military don't ask-don't tell policy. robert gibbs spoke with reporters today for about an hour.
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>> is this something you could be proud to campaign on in november. and we aren't seeing any democrats that supported health care campaigning on that legislation. why is that happening and has the president asked them to do that? >> the president is not directing the messaging or ads for individual candidates. obviously, they'll do what they think and what they breeve is best in terms -- believe is best in terms of what they want to talk about in their districts. i think it's important we are arriving at a point at which a number of the important consumer protections will kick in for health care, including important protections on pre-existing
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conditions, which represent truly landmark reforms. look, i don't know -- again, individual messaging decisions are left up to individual candidates, but i think as you see over the course of the next few days, these consumer protections kick in, i think you will see and notice the type of protections that many democrat and republicans had longed wished for. no one can be discriminated against simply because they are sick. those are tangible reforms. >> the senate message about this legislation that the candidates who came out and voted for it, that it's negative.
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>> i don't think that's necessarily the case. and i turn on the tv all the time and see discussions on a large variety of topics in the midst of political campaigns, but i think people that supported this and the families they are working to protect can and should be proud of the accomplishment. >> the town hall yesterday, it was the first time that a lot of us saw reporters asking pointed questions. did the president leave that town hall feeling differently about the mood of the country and his reaction to it? >> the president gets letters from people all across the country all the time. the president has an opportunity to talk to whether it's in town hall meetings or as he travels around the country to talk to people all the time. and the notion that somehow
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anybody is surprised that we're not where we want to be economically, i can't imagine -- we certainly weren't surprised. i think the notion that people are frustrated at again -- as i said before, it took us a long time to get here. for 10 years, we watched incomes decline. that frustration built for 10 years. i don't think anybody believed it was going to turn around in a year, 20 months and it's understandable there is a lot of that anger and frustration out there. the notion that people that supported us would be immune to that frustration when the president himself is frustrated i don't think is something that the president believed. >> federal reserve said it was ready to provide additional assistance to bolster economic recovery. what is the white house's
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reaction to that? >> i'm told by my friends not to comment on the action of the fed and today is not a good day to disregard that sage advice. >> on china, the president said yesterday that china has not done enough to let the value of its currency rise when on thursday, i believe, will the president be faced with flexibility? >> as the president said yesterday, this is a topic that comes up in conversations that are had at many different levels within the administration, be it with treasury officials, white house officials, administration officials. as he said, this is -- they have expressed a willingness to do so, but have not done everything that needs to be done, that we would continue to monitor that
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and it is obviously an issue of concern and one that was brought up on the recent trip that dr. summers and pam was on and one of the many issues that will be brought up this week as well. >> the treasury secretary said today that they should take on its own economic problems. any response to that? >> no. >> there are some officials in the government that believe that -- how much was the brennan visit and i know he delivered the letter. >> i have seen the reports of the actions in yemen.
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i'm told they're not tied to anything that john did or said or his presence there. i don't have any information on those reports. obviously, the government has been involved for quite some time in the struggle against al qaeda and its extremist allies in the region, but have sought to topple the zpwoft. so we -- i'm sure that john extended the continued message of our support for their efforts to do so. [inawed international question] >> without -- inaudible question] >> we have seen success there. obviously there is a lot of work to be done to keep countries and their government safe and keep the american people safe and we'll continue to do just that.
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>> on health care -- [inaudible -- because what the administration is heralding. what is your response? >> very unfortunate that insurance companies continue to make decisions on the backs of children and families that need their help. first and foremost, the affordable care act provides a host of protections that many of these families could only dream of. the child-only policies represent a very, very small part of the individual market. nonetheless, the insurance protection lobby, ahip, had previously stated their willingness to abide by the law
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and not make the decision that we see several of these insurers make. we are very disappointed at the decision they have made, but in the end, the protections that we have are greater than as i said, most of these families could have ever hoped for in terms of protecting their children from or ensuring that their children had access to the type of health care they could only dream of. >> have you called the insurance lobby? >> ahip popped into my mind. but it seems to fit, doesn't it? >> robert on don't ask, don't tell, susan collins confirmed to our group on the hill she had spoken to the vice president and he reached out to her and he understands her frustration, this is somebody who agrees with the administration in repealing
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don't ask-don't tell but senator reid feels there isn't an opportunity to offer amendments, cannot go forward and support the legislation. is there a sense of frustration from the administration, a senator who feels she cannot support don't ask-don't tell. >> we are grateful for her support of repealing don't ask-don't tell. i did not hear the conversation that the vice president had. my sense is that there is a tremendous frustration on the part of many involved that we hear all of the time about the procedural hurdles that many republicans want to throw into this process. that's why it took three or four months for us to get a bill not as controversial, small business
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tax cuts through the united states senate. it is our hope we can get the defense bill done. the president supports the repeal of don't ask-don't tell and the bill included the dream act, which is supported by democrats, republicans and many in this administration will continue to work on all of those fronts. >> senator reid being helpful or hurtful to the process? >> i think senator reid has done an incredible job in loading the united states senate and is being helpful on making progress on what's important to families. >> is there anybody from the administration who is encouraging to perhaps change this so perhaps there would be open debate? >> mitch mcconnell and others want, open debate is a grab bag -- a grab bag of ideas that are probably left for a different
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time. again, this was the notion that somehow we weren't having open debate and a simple noncontroversial bill took three, four months. that's why we have nominees waiting because of slowdown tactics. we'll continue to try to make all this happen. >> and on another subject, twitter has a buzz this morning -- >> i noticed. i don't know what just happened, but i don't know if there were a lot of characters and letters that didn't seem to line up on anything. >> do you use twitter to give out information from the white house? >> all the letters and numbers, i don't know what that
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disseminated. it looked like a scene out of the movie "war games." look, from time to time, i have no doubt that there will be those that want to gum up the system and things like that. i don't hesitate to continue to use it. i thought i did something horrific to my community and make sure i didn't spill anything on my keyboard, because at one point on my computer, it had people's names on twitter and all of their message was blacked out as if the whole thing was redacted. i thought that was someone's message and i thought i don't know what that means and i realized it was happening to half my messages. >> is there a security breach in the messages you are disseminating from the white
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house and this could be scrambled, re-interpreted or -- >> the combination of numbers and letters didn't equal a message, i'm not worried about that code being misinterpreted. again, if that were the case, none of us would use computers, right? inherent in -- i think a few weeks ago, news organizations were dealing with bugs that slowed down the system. if you didn't do that because you were worried about that, we would be -- yeah, on parchment or letters in the mail as press releases which they used to do not too long ago. it's the process of doing business. >> on don't ask-don't tell, white house concerned if they can't get past this barrier that's it for the year and next year -- >> i don't think that's the case . the president obviously
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continues to urge congress to act and is working as well with the pentagon to see this come to fruition. i don't think this is the end. >> a lot of people do. they believe if they can't by it now, this is the last chance. they said it's because the white house hasn't pushed hard enough to get it through. >> if you look at today's vote, i don't see how you could come to that conclusion. it wasn't -- again, there is the procedural hurdle that's been put up by republicans not to move. >> the president spent a fair amount of time talking to republicans and democrats? >> the vice president has made some calls and the administration officials made calls. >> how about the president? president talked to susan collins? >> no. >> why not? this could be a decisive moment.
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>> i didn't agree with that a minute ago and i don't think that's true. >> on following up on insurance companies, more broadly, not just that insurance companies are not getting into the child-only plans, but there is a report that premiums seem to be going up and with the six-month anniversary, there will be a lot of attention given to health care reform. is this bad news for the elections, for democrats, that they are going to be saddled with premiums going up when the administration said they were going to go down? >> if you look at in the next couple of days, the most sweeping set of consumer protections go into law. because of health care reform, we have seen the life of the medicare trust fund extended
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beyond -- the life of the medicare trust fund extended 10 years, the largest it has been extended in the history of its existence. so i think there are a number of subtexts within health care reform rkts which are enormously important for the american people. it's going to take some time. more protections will come online over the next few months and years as health care reform gets phased in and we are going to continue and we have given states more power to look at what individual insurance companies have or decided they want to do and blame it on something that can't be blamed for some of the things they are trying to do. we have been fighting the insurance companies for a long, long time on doing what's right for the american people. i don't doubt they are going to
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stop doing only what is in the best interest of their bottom line. >> was the president hinting yesterday that his top economic advisers' jobs are on the line? >> no. i think what the president was musing about was i think what would not be a surprise, people who have enormously hard over the past two years, will go back to do before the administration. that should not be looked at what happens or what may or may not happen in an election. >> is that for the foreseeable future? >> the president is enormously pleased with the efforts of each of them in what has been -- in what have been very trying times. again, it's not for me to comment on or to make decisions for individuals that decide
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again that they are going to go back to doing what they were doing before. as you well know, because quite frankly, all of you are covering on a daily basis. the last two years have been -- have been at a remarkable pace, far more hectic than a campaign in which many of us thought could it get any crazer than this and many days around here, the answer is absolutely. >> robert, the president makes an effort to get out and talk to average americans. you read the letters. but still having some people who identify themselves as supporters yesterday, ask if the american dream is dead for them and expressed that they are exhausted defending him. no shock there by the president? >> again, the notion -- i think we have 53% of the vote. if you are telling me up until
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sometime yesterday 5 % of the american people were immune to the frustrations of the american economy? no. i wouldn't be living in a bubble. i would be living in a bunker. the notion is crazy. i think sometimes we sort of fast-forward what the president says in some of these things. as he said in cleveland and as he restated yesterday, over the past 10 years, we have seen in a period of economic overall economic expansion, the slowest job and wage growth of any decade since the second world war. so regardless of anything else, people have watched their incomes, the opportunities for their children, all that stuff slowly erode. that's understandable. if you weren't frustrated, you wouldn't be paying attention. of course people are -- all on
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top of that, their houses are worth less. eight million people lost their jobs. that is the reality of what this administration has had to confront. and the notion that people are frustrated does not surprise the president. >> you assumed the mayor of san francisco has expressed some criticism of the stimulus saying it is not wrong to criticize parts of that stimulus, disproportionately saving jobs in the public sector and not stimulating private sector growth. reaction from the white house? >> i don't have the california statistics in front of me, but let's take wind energy as one. california is -- leads the nation in wind energy projects on a factor of four to the next
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highest state. if you ask anyone in the wind energy business what was likely to happen to projects that depended on private financing during the worst economy in a lifetime, the wind energy in and of itself will tell you that you were likely to see a huge shrinking of wind energy projects and maybe the death of an entire industry, given the credit demand problems that we faced coming into office. on just clean energy jobs alone, of which california is a huge beneficiary, private sector jobs , tax credit for wind energy, tax credit for manufacturing and things like that, i think we have seen a huge change in the for the tunes of that industry. and again, most of that, if not all of that is in the private
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sector. have we taken steps to ensure that kids who go to school in san francisco don't lose their teacher because of the budgetary problems that the state of california faces? you bet. have we made sure that if somebody needs a police officer or firefighter in san francisco and doesn't fall prey to the budgetary situation in the city or in the state? you bet. and i think -- i don't know where the mayor is on that. i think the american people think it is a good idea. >> this is the bluest mayor of all blue cities -- >> i don't think of that personally. >> a story suggests that you are considering a national ad campaigns. and my question is, if republicans are nationalizing
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the selection and making it a referendum on the president why wouldn't you consider a national campaign along those lines? >> we pushed back on a story that wasn't true because having been on some of these emails, everyone wondered what meeting they missed when someone wrote a story saying we were going to run a national ad campaign when none of the people involved even thinking about that could remember that meeting. >> it's not that you are closed to that notion? >> what was untrue is the story was predicated upon a national ad campaign that was not in existence nor was contemplated. look, i talked about some of the choices that as a result of candidates winning in certain states, narrowed the electoral map for republicans because some of the candidates they nominated particularly in the tea party
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and i doubt we'll continue to do that, but we have -- nobody was making moves to and nobody had contemplated to do a national ad campaign. >> six weeks until the elections, the president plan to retool his message or is it the car in the ditch, louder and more often? >> what you are going to see the republicans roll out on thursday will help the president's message of wanting to go back to the ideas of 2008. i think that's exactly what you are going to hear from them on thursday and that's why the president will continue to talk about that message. >> that message has not been compelling to date to voters, would that suggest a retool? >> well, again, you know, there's six weeks and a lifetime to go in politics.
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i mean, again, your own polls showed that the second most potent argument against a republican in congress would be going back to the policies of the previous administration. so -- [inaudible] >> they were better, which is what an election is all about. >> robert, do you when the president is going to sign the small business jobs bill? >> i don't. i think the hope is that the house will vote on that in the next couple of days and our hope would be to sign that quickly sometime maybe early next week, again depending upon when the house passes the bill and sends it down here. >> can you tell us what is really going on on the north lawn. looks like they are building something more than just pipes and cables. >> can i tell you?
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as you all know, most of you have been in my office and you can see these steel beams and this oil rig that's out on the front lawn, i have to assume at some point someone is going to tell me they are adding a parking deck to the north lawn, because that is the only conceivable thing we could be doing. it's entirely possible -- no. it's a whole project to upgrade and modernize a whole host of things. again -- [laughter] >> the banging and the klanging and the drilling -- clanging and the drilling -- [laughter] >> our next infrastructure will be out there on the driveway so it will be open press. i got to tell you every like
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three minutes for the past four hours, that machine has clanged to get the dirt off of the drill bit. it is the single most unnerving thing. a parking deck -- or they are moving the washington monument. the only two conceivable. putting in a foundation to move the washington monument. latch latch [laughter] >> you didn't answer the question. >> the monument is going there. >> what is the deal between the president and slurpees. in every speech he is portraying it as the official drink of obstructionist republicans. [laughter] >> after your fourth email, i went to talk to him about the tater tots and now he is hooked
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on slurpees. >> news just came out that senate democrats -- what's the reaction? >> i think you have in the defense bill, very important funding for the priorities of our pentagon and our troops. the president also supporting repeal of don't ask-don't tell and the dream act that are priorities of his. and we are disappointed at not being able to proceed with the legislation, but we'll keep trying. >> not a single g.o.p. senator opened debate on the bill and what's your reaction? >> been there, done that. again, 60 is the new 50, and i don't mean age. to do anything in this town now,
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you have to get 60 votes. it's certainly not the way -- many of the people that work in the senate, including senators, thought this was the way it ought to work. >> the first lady hitting the campaign trail because the white house is concerned about getting women to the polls? >> look, i think the first lady is an enormous asset of this administration, somebody that is focused on issues that are tremendously important to the american people, whether it is the health of our children, or the priorities of those that are returning from serving our country. those are her priorities and i think those are the country's priorities. she is, as you might guess, a
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popular ask on the campaign trail and i think she will go out and make a forceful and positive case for what this administration has done over the course. >> on the u.n. meeting this week, do you see an opening for negotiations for kim jong il to take clear steps? >> i will say this, north korea, the power of the north koreans to come back to the table and fulfill the obligations that they agreed to in giving up their nuclear program and ensuring a nuclear-free korean peninsula. so it is well within their own power to make significant progress on that issue. and i think that would be a tremendous benefit to the people of north korea who bear, who
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often bear the consequences of a dictatorship that is not living up to its own responsibilities and obligations. >> would it be a positive step if kim jong il -- >> a whole host of things. the easiest thing would be is to simply live up to the obligations they agreed to. not living up to those obligations have seen a tightening of sanctions by the international community that should demonstrate to the north koreans the international seriousness with which countries all over the world review this issue. >> is israel suggesting an agreement on settlement freeze in exchange? >> i have seen that, but i don't have any comment on that. >> with the number of times that
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this white house has talked about making a strong pivot to jobs and the economy, is there a concern about pivotting away from jobs and the economy in new york? >> i have done this 100 times but i don't know why i wouldn't do it 101st, the president has been focused on the economy and works on nothing more than he does on the economy each and every day. at the same time, people expect that we aren't going to take the opportunity to improve our relationships around the world and discussing a whole host of nations over the next couple of days how to improve our economy for instance by increasing our exports, which i know is a big topic with a number of the countries with which we will be doing meetings over the next few days. so i think it will again present an opportunity for the president to talk about a whole host of
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things that we can and should do. because if you think -- going back to the first g-20 meeting that we had, the president talked about the fact that the american consumer could no longer drive in and of him and herself, global demand. we as a country had to export more. the sooner exporting would create jobs and the president has laid that out and that will be a healthy part of the discussions that the president has over the next few days. >> six months ago right after the health care bill was signed, president obama went out and made a number of stops around the country showcasing the bill, what is in it. why in your view is it less popular today than it was then? what has happened in the public
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mind? >> you know, i have not seen all the polling that you may have. again, i think a number of -- a number of -- if you look at opinion polls again, you overlay it largely with the fact that we're dealing with eight million jobs that be have been lost and 9.6% unemployment and that affects what you are doing, regardless of the issue. >> and the president, will he continue to make the point throughout the campaign season that the health care reform bill is essential to economic progress? >> the president did that yesterday at the town hall meeting. and if you look at and listen to -- if you listen to and listen to what businesses said for a long time, they were getting
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crushed with health care costs. small businesses wanted to offer insurance to their employees, couldn't. now they get a tax cut for doing that. businesses get help, families get help, consumers get the protection they need to ensure that they aren't a doctor's visit away from going bankrupt. and all of those are important to the american people. >> you talked earlier about people feeling frustrated about the economy and the president understands that people are frustrated. does he think that people are frustrated at the state of the economy or with him personally and his handling of it? >> i'll say first and foremost, again, this is -- i have long understood that there is a frustration of where we are economically, that has economies existed for many years. as i said we watched wages and
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standards of living decreased as jobs got shipped overseas, as a whole host of things happened. i don't doubt that people are frustrated that the pace of their economic recovery has not been faster under the president's watch. but what is undeniable and you heard the president reiterate yesterday, if you look at where we were and look at how far we've come, we have not come as far as the president would like. not by a long shot. we are adding jobs. eight months of private sector hiring. positive economic growth. again, all of this is going to take -- this is going to take an enormous amount of time. no one in this administration ever said that this was going to be easy or wouldn't take some time. >> how much does he perceive reaction as upset directed at him, directly at him and not
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just the general state of affairs in the country? >> my guess is it's hard to divorce, because, look, he understands, he is the president of the united states. but, again, -- look, at no point during the discussions of doing the recovery act did we ever say that the hole that eight million jobs and several trillion dollars worth of output that disappeared was one piece of legislation going to fix. it helped in a big way, ensure that losing 750,000 jobs a month wasn't what happened every month. and if you look at the job loss over the course of the administration, again, you see us moving in the right direction. it's just going to take some time.
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and i know the president always believed that. and everybody gets that that time may not correlate with a political calendar. but there's not much we can do about that. >> bottom line of that. former president clinton said in an interview, appeal to voters said give them two more years and then if you aren't happy, including president obama -- >> interesting deal to cut. [laughter] >> look, i don't want to dispense with all the joy of the 2010 elections. but fast forward to 2012, i have no doubt ultimately in four years, that is how this administration will be judged and i think this election and i think 2011 and 2012 are going to be judged on the ideas that both
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parties put forward. i think i heard the former president say that the american people are frustrated and they should be. this president is frustrated, the former president is frustrated. and that is certainly understandable. >> voters were frustrated and weren't satisfied with his answers yesterday and said so in an interview. >> they also said they certainly supported the president. actually, i think -- again, i didn't read all the interviews that maybe you did, but one of them interviewed this morning who said they were still a strong supporter of the president. the first woman who asked the question is still a supporter of the president. but, the notion of frustration of the people being immune, no one thought that was the case. again, understand what people
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have gone through -- again, not just since january 20 or even september 15 of 2008, but for years. this is a frustration that built for years and years and years. economic expansion that didn't lead to much job growth and led to income decline. we virtually never had that before. >> if the job creation and growth continues to be persistent, anyway that president obama might look at an economy that still hasn't moved far enough to run for re-election? >> the president, if were here, would tell you that he spends next to no time thinking about his re-election in 2012 and spends his time with his team here working on how to
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strengthen our economic recovery, how to continue to add jobs for the ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th month in a row, make sure our growth is positive and how to keep our country is safe. that's what the president is focused on, not running for re-election in several years. >> do you know if the first lady going to the -- >> i do. >> why is she delivering the message instead of the president introducing her? >> the president is introducing her and then i think the president, if my scheduling memory is correct, she speaks -- former president clinton is there, and president obama is meeting with the chinese bi-lat. she was invited to be the key
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note. i think that what she will talk about is something that follows on issues that she's worked on and is something that is a priority of this administration and of hers personally. >> the other day, we heard that neither abbas or netanyahu would be meeting with the president. >> i don't think netanyahu -- i think there is a decent number of people who are. >> is there an effort by the white house to get something there? >> i think we feel like the track that is ongoing, the direct talks, the commitment to do so every two weeks that secretary of state clinton and former senator mitchell are sheparding through is making
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real progress. and i don't think there's any big push to make sure that we have another one of those meetings in new york as long as we are on the road to making progress on the direct talk track that we are pursuing right now. >> what's the message he will be taking to the u.n. and what does he hope to accomplish? >> well, i think there is a background call on this yesterday and i would refer you to some of that. and i have not seen the final remarks yet in terms of the larger message. obviously, if you look at the meetings again bi-lats with china and japan, the sudan meeting, all somewhat unique but have overlapping concerns, particularly on the global economy. we'll deal with the issues with
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north korea and iran. i don't doubt that middle east peace is something that -- though a direct meeting is not a the schedule, will be the topic of quite a bit of conversation there. >> robert, two questions on don't ask, don't tell. first of all, we know you have been pushing out, but has lady gaga reached out to this white house? she is a part of this now. >> she has not called me. i don't know the answer to that. i have not heard that. [inaudible] >> note on don't spbinaudible] >> on a serious note on don't ask, don't tell, on the contradiction of civil rights
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issues and then department of defense being one of the first organizations to integrate in the country, could you talk to me what some perceive as a contradiction when it comes to this. >> flush it out for me. >> civil rights issue, they are being denied the repeal. >> sure. ok. this has been an issue that the president has -- believed was wrong and believed needed to be changed as a candidate in 2003, in a primary in illinois, in the general election in 2004, as a u.s. senator and as a candiatot for president. i think the president believes as former chairs of the jidant chiefs of staff believe that this is a policy that simply does not make sense on a whole host of levels. and the house has passed a ^ change in that policy.
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we are working with the joint chiees and the secretary of defense on implementing -- on steps to implement a change and we believe that a change is coming. . . eme
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even when this was not a -- the most popular thing to say or do. but the president believes the policy is unfair and should and will be changed. >> on the economy, you said earlier this is going to take an enormous amount of time. how long? >> i think it's going to take several years from -- i think that getting through -- getting through a recession as deep as the one that we were faced with , the sheer amount of job loss, the shock to the system, shock to our financial system, the change in our housing market. we're dealing with in many ways, if you look at what happened and what cascaded downward all at a certain period of time, you're dealing with sort of the perfect storm.
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as i said, you've got folks who have lost -- they and their friends have lost their jobs, their housing values, have decreased -- their housing values have deveesed, for a lightning time the credit market was completely frozen. it wasn't just one thing that needed to be fixed in order to get the economy moving again. it took a long time from -- and i don't have the exact figures in front of me, but i think the job loss, monthly job loss probably started in december of 2007 and it was probably sometime the middle of 2009. i'm sorry, probably toward the end of 2009 where you saw a month in which we added on the plus side new jobs. you know, that's a good
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two-year period of followed or having been followed by a whole host of previous bad months before the recession officially began in december of 2007. i just think it's going to take a long time to get out of the hole that we found ourselves in. there weren't any quick fixes. there aren't any silver bullets. if there were we would have done so. i think that speaks to the frustration what have people are feeling. if you could hit a button or flip a switch or make something happen overnight, you certainly would do that. the problems that we faced were long-term, they were systematic and they're going to take some time. >> can i follow up on that? >> sure. >> the c.b.o. has projected that unemployment will remain above 8% until at least 2012.
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does the administration have any projections of when it might go below -- >> i don't know if in the midsession -- i assume there are some figures but i don't have those in front of me. >> given the frustration that was expressed to the president yesterday, is there anything that the president himself thinks that he may have done wrong on the economy? anything that he would want to take back in his handling of it at this point? >> look, i've not asked that question of him directly. i know that the president again feels the frustration. i think we were probably on a different trajectory sometime in the spring and then things impacted our own recover from europe. but, you know, i think we have made a series of decisions and the president's made a series of decisions that while not altogether politically popular were ones that had to be made
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when they were made. >> i mean -- we asked bush this question a lot. he doesn't feel he's made any mistakes so far? >> again, i haven't put this question to him directly. i don't know what he might say to that question. i just think -- i don't think -- i think he understands that this was going to take some time. there weren't the illusion that somehow this was again all going to be better in a very short period of time. >> has there been a call for congress to reconsider don't ask, don't tull during the lame durk? what's their philosophy about legislative activity during that time frame? >> there has not been a lot of discussion around here on -- that i've been a part of, on what happens sort of post election in congress.
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obviously there may well be a whole host of issues including don't ask, don't tell that remain undecided. our focus right now is trying to get the business of the people done as congress remains in session. i can try to get a better answer on the lame duck. >> i've heard a couple of resources email me wondering why you're not hammering republicans harder from the electric turn. they note that not only did that not get overtushed but military funding was delayed today. secretary gates has said that the dream act is essential not only to immigration but to help the u.s. forces readiness. do you think that congress ended up -- >> i'll repeat what i said earlier. what we saw -- the delay is frustrating because the bill contained important funding for the pentagon and for our troops, it contained important priorities of this president and this administration in the dream act and in repealing
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don't ask, don't tell. and, you know, once again you have the new normal of needing to have 60 people agree to move forward on simply providing the pentagon with the funding that it needs for its troops. i think that is -- it's a sad, sad day where that's the bar that everything has to go through in order to make progress. >> two quick ones. the afghanistan report. >> the afghanistan report, i think my camera tried to get in touch with you and i think the kerry office said that they had not delayed that on any wish of ours but i would point you over to senator kerry's office to get the exact -- >> second question then, do you think that lady gaga did help -- [inaudible] >> no, because we wouldn't be
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doing this if it weren't for the president. have you ever heard me give an answer that short? >> no. >> there's your answer. david, we wouldn't be doing -- we couldn't be taking on these issues if it weren't for the president. this was -- this was -- this is an issue that passed the house because of the president and this administration's work and the work of many members in congress. but understand, david, as i just said, it takes 60 votes just to get on a bill. just to consider a piece of legislation takes 60 votes. it's something that is remarkable in our process that we've come to this situation where simply funding the pentagon takes the consent of 3
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fifth of those who are elected -- 3/35 of those who are elected. it's certainly not healthy the way our government works and it sets an awful precedent for getting things -- [inaudible] thanks. >> [inaudible] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> the c-span video library is a great resource to see what's happening in washington. find the most recent events we've covered, the ones most watched and most shared all free. the c-span video library. watch what you want, when you want. >> a news conference from the luxembourg forum on nuclear nonproliferation. american and russian nuclear
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weapons experts discuss the future of the strategic arms reduction treaty and the status of the north korean and iranian nuclear programs. the president of the forum warned that if korea gets nuclear weapons there would be a major increase in weapons in the region. from washington, d.c., this is an hour. >> with your permission i would like to start this press >> concerning a scheduled meeting of the forum. of course our forum has been in existence for three-plus years. the name of the in business for three plus years. the name of the forum harkens back to 2007 where the first section took place in luxembourg prior to the forum. it comprises of approximately 60 leading experts in such areas as nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear deterrence.
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based in 14 nations of the world. these nations are deleting countries and the most interested countries as far as this particular subject is concerned, and in this regard, the sessions of our forum are scheduled to coincide with certain global processes that are occurring in politics and that pertain directly to the subject matter of our--. as we all know the relevant meeting of the admissions is taking place as we speak. i would like to thank all the members of the media who have been showing a consistent interest in the work of our forum. ..
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and the next stage will involve consultations on tactcal war, as in nonstrategic nuclear weapons, controls and cuts. and if there are equivalents in this field, then the need has to be satisfied for monitoring the negotiated limitations and, second, accounts need to be taken of the objective symmetry and the strategic positions of russia. to date, there have not been any practical proposals.
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our goal is to engage in consultation and move forward, so shaping such proposals so that they can be acceptable for the official authorities. we do have certain proposals and we're heaping to coordinate them and put them in our final documents. the issue of continued equipment on nuclear weapon cuts between the u.s. and russia is closely linked with cooperation between the two nations and the leading european nations on developing, deploying and jointly using an a.b.m. system. it will make sense to discuss ways of eliminating the differences that remain in this field. to begin with, it is worth reviewing and bringing back to life a positive experience in that cooperation that we had until 2008. and to resume joint and -- joint a.b.m. exercises and take first steps toward integrating relevant information systems. je
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first steps towards integra for many years now the iranian and north korean nuclear crises have been smoldering issues of the nonproliferation regime and there is a general understanding that no new resolutions of the u.n. security council with tougher sanctions are capable. iran's p. iran as a nation has been >> the iranian nuclear bomb would trigger a trigger reaction of nuclear expansion. and that would then include nations in latin america. nucler expansion. and that would then include nations in latin america. a provocation by a the north korean regime have complicated
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the six-party talks to denuclearize the korean peninsula and have been undermining the regional security in general. the fact the north korean regime has a nuclear warhead and ballistic missile arsenal poses an obvious threat to the entire far east region and calls for new decisions that we would be why is to focus on unless these to crisis of iran and north korea are a result, many more states will have nuclear weapons and the would not be limited to the middle east. it would transcend and go to the other parts of the world. and mostly required by nations already balancing on the brink of the radicalization of the regimes and civil war. in this raises the probability that nuclear weapons would be used on just regional continent and globally. of course in that scenario
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international terrorism would get access to nuclear weapons and that's something al qaeda and other extremist organizations have made no secret about. aware of that, the u.s. and a number of other european nations have unilaterally applied stricter sanctions against iran and north korea that can indeed be more productive. the generally positive results on the nuclear security summit in the nonproliferation treaty review conference meet it possible to identify the weak points of the npt regime in order to focus on them. at this current session of the luxembourg forum, we have with us the more qualified experts who are capable analyzing the result circumstances and charging the operation for the forum. tomorrow we hope to coordinate a number of proposals on the above issues. and now my colleagues and yours truly are willing to take your
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questions. and i would also like to pass over to general who will be the moderator. >> colleagues, please ask your questions and we would appreciate if you could ask them in a targeted way as an of specific individuals. we have with us a member of the russian scientists come secretary of former affairs and the ambassador. if you could ask your questions to the specific individuals. the interpreter can alter the question. >> translator: who do you think as a result of discussions today and tomorrow? will it be possible to advance, beauford the process of the
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ratification s.t.a.r.t. measure and also to believe that the decisions of the luxembourg forum that have already taken place had there been instrumental in net financing these issues? that is number one and also, recently the russian foreign minister published a list of complaints of the united states as far as its presumed noncompliance with the previous agreement. is this going to discuss today or tomorrow? >> thank you terrie much. of course there is two questions here. i would like to take them separate. i would like to answer the first question and the second 1i would like to ask my colleague after and we would try to tackle. if he does not have any objections to that.
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as far as advancing the ratification of the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty, i think that there will be a contribution on the part of the luxembourg for, to the location of the treaty. if there is an understanding on the russian side and the u.s. side that there are certain opponents to the treaty and we are doing this with well informed optimism, and we believe that this treaty stands a very serious chance of being ratified within the next few months. that's my answer in her brief. as far as evaluating the work of
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the luxembourg form over the three plus years that it has been in existence, is not really for us to judge. ours is an entirely different objective. we see ourselves as speaking on behalf of the export community. the experts based on a vast number of details that have to do with this, the conflicts and important issue of nuclear non-proliferation or proliferation of nuclear weapons outside thought legal framework, which in fact constitutes the calamity that we are all witnesses to. to identify the key unique features and attributes of the process and call the attention of policymakers to this and based on the number of quotes,
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referencing the publications of the forum, and based on the run number of online queries and access or hits as they say, we seem to be among the leading bodies of the kind. thank you. >> first, i would like to say when i was the foreign minister, such for a referred to as people's diplomacy, it wasn't something i was particularly sympathetic of. it just seemed to me that people of the ministries, the foreign ministry and others, are was
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skilled enough to deal with all these matters and that others do what they are best at. businessmen engage in business, etc., etc.. ai why is that over the years and i had radically reversed my opinion and i think not only is there a need for such for a but they are completely unnecessary, and i think that the fact that he has put this form together and has amassed a number of top notch experts and is conducting meetings at this level has created achievement. the thing is when we talk about national nuclear nonproliferation this is not just something that is of concern to the narrow circle of experts. it is something that concerns everybody. during the cold war we talked about mutual destruction, it was
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seen as some kind of an abstract notion. these things, the nonproliferation are no longer notions. the information, the relevant information should be available to everybody and requires a forum like this and if, like this is important if proposals are prepared for decision makers to answer your question. we are not here. we don't get together to discuss mutual complaints. there are different channels, different people, different bodies. our goal is not to look for and discuss complaints, but rather, to find points of context. so what we do as we engage in her footwork or saw balk of work which can be difficult to accomplish at the official
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levels where people are in compliance and things like that and may not be able to carry out this kind of works of this is exactly what our objective is and there is work done and this is how the session today was unfolding. you asked about the s.t.a.r.t. treaty and not that we are over the top optimists, but we assume that this treaty will be ratified because there is a need for this treaty both felt by our countries and the rest of the community but what is important is once ratified we are hoping that the process will not stop for the negotiations process to continue for the negotiations process to continue, we need in backlog of proposals. we believe there is a whole range of issues we will discuss some of them today which now must be put on the level elevated to the level of consultations and negotiations so that our governments,
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ministers of foreign affairs and others can be recipients of such proposals so that once they decide what we are putting together jointly is acceptable and be made part of the agenda during the negotiations. >> your question. >> [inaudible] >> translator: i have a question to how would you see the practical cooperation between guinn of russia and the u.s. and russia and nato in the area of abm? >> practically russia and the u.s. and the european countries could have used their information system jointly and joint application would make
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their utilization more effective and efficient, and also it's possible to use combat assets jointly. i would say previously we had a joint exercises with the u.s. and the european community using s300. now we can use next generation abm complexes. that would give increased effectiveness in case of use of missiles by hostile rhode nation's and putting those unstable regimes, but the main result would be in how the
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formation of the relations of being allies that would allow us to court and a decision making in all issues relevant to nuclear nonproliferation with would have, close in our positions countering the issues related to north korea or iran nuclear emissions and we would have steadily but assuredly withdrawn from the cold war positions, the positions of destructiveness and this is something that right now blocks the way towards us becoming allies and friends.
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he gave you technical information but let me cover the political aspect of this issue. you analyze the situation of the recent years and now you will see that the abm issue was one of the most contentious in their relations with the u.s. and nato so, in order to alleviate these concerns, we need to work on these issues more actively and recently senator nunn initiated an idea of three party negotiations on the joint abm non-defense, but i understand this is a challenging issue but if we don't start talking about it it will not make progress on till the president's give
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directives to the delegations to start talking on strategic arms reduction nothing was done. they sat down and they had to have a complete treaty. we already talked about it. they negotiated the s.t.a.r.t. and 11 months to deal with a new s.t.a.r.t., and on abm, fully understanding that it will take additional efforts we will probably start now with the most simple issues like what threats our countries and challenges see in abm and what type of access do we have to deflect this so maybe we should start small, not with a comprehensive abm treaty but to look at the most relevant
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issues that are important today because abm encompasses a lot of issues. trust, transparency and talking about the joint abm system. we need to look at philosophical differences. we shouldn't look at, you know, dividing the holding to us and them but we have a joint system and we have a common goal and objective. this is the philosophy that should lay the groundwork for the negotiations. please, more questions. >> [inaudible] >> translator: what is your explanation why some people are against the ratification of s.t.a.r.t. treaty? and will it be ratified?
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>> there have been perhaps for issues that have featured in our debate. one is the topic we were just discussing, ballistic missile defense. it is important to many senators to make it clear that this treaty does not interfere with our ongoing programs and i believe that they have not done that. the second issue that has concerned the senators has to do with what are sometimes called tactical or battlefield weapons. those are not covered by the new
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s.t.a.r.t. treaty and they were not covered by any previous treaty. but as we bring strategic forces will work and lower, it is important to some u.s. allies that these weapons be somehow regulated, and what the administration has said is that once new s.t.a.r.t. is an effective will begin discussions with the russian federation. and so that seems to satisfy. further, in simplifying the treaty, the verification provisions have been reduced. they are actually perfectly adequate for the edify and what we have agreed to do. but they look less complicated than the previous treaty and
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some senators have been worried that we are losing information. i believe that they now understand this. and then finally, although it has not been the subject of the treaty itself, many senators believe that if we are to reduce forces, it is important that we maintain those forces safe, secure, reliable and effective and they have been worried about the funding for the u.s. nuclear weapons program. that has proven the most difficult because we cannot under our system blamed future congresses. but i believe that as the vote in the foreign relations committee made clear sufficient number of senators are convinced that i think the treaty will be
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ratified. my suspicion is a will be ratified this year but not until after the u.s. election but i am not certain of that. that seems to be what the senators are now talking about. >> hillary from the jerusalem post. i want to ask mr. kantor, i believe you said in your opening remarks that even if there were additional sanctions at the u.n. against iran it wouldn't be enough to stop them in the quest for the nuclear weapon. so i'm wondering why you think can be done additionally to stop them and how before us contribute into the effort to. >> i think there is an interpretation that i will answer in russian.
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>> translator: i believe my opinion is shared with a majority of experts on the luxembourg forum. and additional sanction security council onnd additionay security council on iran will not yield any positive results. and the desire over iran to acquire nuclear weapons will be implemented practically regardless of the efforts and all that occur in the negotiations process would be used to the advantage of iran in its desire to obtain nuclear weapons. i believe that we certainly underestimate the danger of iran
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as a nuclear state. actually, iran is directly and openly financing under the law of evidence. the finance international terrorist organizations. first of all, it's hezbollah that has affiliations and organizations affiliated in every continent including latin america. so i am convinced that proliferation of the nuclear weapons in the countries that we call fresh hold companies would have been very interested quickly and iran would be interested not just politically but commercially which is i think of as the final objective
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of the regime. what can we do about it? it's difficult for me to present here because i probably am the only person of the 60 members of experts on the of luxembourg for on who is a percentage of civil society. i am the interface between the civil society and export community. as a expert society, we commission services from experts of the luxembourg forum. so looking outside i would like to formulate a number of desires for the luxembourg forum and i would like to share it with you.
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>> welcome you know, expert community just like the jewish mother. it's always right. why is that? because expert community has an opinion on every issue, and expresses these opinions so we have a comprehensive or every angle of every issue including such a complex issue as the nuclear proliferation. so, if you ask me on a nuclear experts just like a jewish mother would say yes, we warned you about it. but now we have a situation an escalation of the nuclear missions of iran and north korea and there are not planning to mitigate this crisis.
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as luxembourg forum we could have taken it upon ourselves the task of defining the limitations or above limits of tolerance for those and just specified finite number of definitions of nuclear tolerance. this was one of the suggestions expressed as today sections of the luxembourg forum. so furthermore, if we commonly agreed parameters of the tolerance then we can go towards a technical solution of this problem. so moved away or shift from a political solution, resolution of this issue and would say established somewhere in here up or brussels for a rapid response
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center and the initiative on establishing the response center would be even to the u.s. and russia as the two bellweather some in the nuclear community primarily for two reasons. first the most profound proponents of disarmament, and the second issue is a fact of. they possess more than 90% of nuclear weapons in the world. so, they could be trusted not just on the political level but also at a technical level, at a general level to make decisions on repelling this threat. so this is something that could be an alternate framework of to the inability for sanctions.
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>> [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: relations between the u.s. and russia and russia as well so it will sign the treaty and come to effect, but then the u.s. will take not just on building the theater based abm the global so the question is how and to u.s. experts community look at positive or negative scenarios on what happens if the u.s. takes on this global tide of abm.
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>> there was a time in 25 years ago when the united states was very interested a global system that would have been directed against the soviet union. and even then we decided that the path of cooperation and deterrence was a more effective past. there are certainly ways is in the united states the would like to see a much more elaborate abm system, but i do not think they are the dominant view. if you look at the administration's ballistic missile defense review, if you
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look at the administration's nuclear posture review, it is very clear that the administration places great value on stability with of the russian federation. if you look at the report of the strategic posture commission chaired by secretary schlesinger and secretary perry, it's very clear that commission unanimously did not believe the ballistic missile defense is aimed at russia or why is and if you look at what we have attempted to do with the ballistic missile defense system that is going forward, it is very clear that it is aimed at iran and north korea.
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so i think the answer is that the united states is not interested in spending the enormous sums of money that would be required to build the defense which the russian federation would then spend enormous sums of money to overcome, leaving us exactly where we are today. on the other hand, the way we make sure that something happens or from some of the ideas you heard from general dvorkin about cooperation. both of us, both countries have an interest in defending against states that may simply have a different approach, such as iran. so i think the united states
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would be very interested in finding ways to cooperate with the russian consideration. that is a technically challenging problem and i think the luxembourg forum helps by being a way in which some ideas can be presented which governments can leader choose to embrace. i don't think any american who has looked at the situation believes -- we all recognize that there are skeptics in both countries. but i've seen on this the way we overcome the skepticism is further cooperation. >> this is can't from news max.
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my first question is to general dvorkin. when alexander came here a number of years before his death he said there was something like 60 small tactical nuclear weapons the russian federation could not account for that had gone missing. have those weapons ever been accounted for, number one, and number two, perhaps for mr. mr. ivanov and moshe in power of the time if iran is a threat today to the neighbors and ultimately to the united states, as being capable to launch a ballistic missile because of russian shipments to iran in the 1990's have those shipments of missile technology and missile engines, the ss s4 and five engines stop and have you provided the technical data to the united states and perhaps u.s. allies that will allow us to counter the missiles should they beef launched?
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>> you know, [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: once said that russia had accounted for nuclear warheads and was completely ignorant about the situation and only repeated the words someone else who was equally incompetent was an environmental activist that he had heard from, have heard this from that our conference you are actually in the clock first -- in luck. there were 20 warheads he referred to, and we carry this conference had someone who actually many counted those warheads and confirmed that they
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were all accounted for and save and preserve although they work warheads that had long since to be disposed of and they couldn't be used. this is concerning your question for me. >> house russia provided information about -- >> translator: that you provided in the 90's either to the united states or u.s. allies in europe so we would be able to counter them in the event that they are used. >> the missile systems, which are sold by the former soviet
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union i think in of late 70's, early 80's to a number of countries very primitive step beyond the german rocket. >> i'm referring to the [inaudible] >> most of the job was done by the irony in -- iranians and even some of iraqis at the time to upgrade this early missile and as far as i know, any kind of calculation on this issue was interactive. >> [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: we keep seeing
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the issue is confidence between the u.s. russia and global confidence. the latest contract whereby russia it took will be supplying missiles to syria global confidence and is it that difficult to combine and coordinate our military issues with aspects of global security and the question for mr. kantor what is more difficult for you, to convince your russian partners to limit their military cooperation with the arabs especially syria or to convince the israeli partners to the fact that this cooperation russia engages in with the animations does not actually create a threat to israel? >> i believe the question was recently answered by the russian defense minister who was here on a visit so what i can do is only
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offer to a somewhat more broader comment the way i see this issue. the matter of delivery of weapons is a fairly sensitive issue and a lot of examples are available. syria is just one of many including many regions, including such a complex region system at least in the gulf area and a great deal depends on the whether or not there is mutual confidence and on whether or not such deliveries destabilize the already complicated situation in the region. they have been repeated in the past as to whether or not such weapons are made available to other parties that are directly involved as the defense minister said there is a contract.
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there is a provision in the contract with the syrians to the effect that the recipient party clearly the buyer clearly cannot transfer those weapons to a third party and even more so there is a monitoring system, control system in place to ensure the the obligation is complied, including and using and including sort of the represented office of the appropriate manufacturer said that these weapons cannot be used to destabilize the situation in the region especially now that there is a very important first of its kind negotiation between israel and the perlstein is under way is important to have channels for exchanging information so that there will not be any unpredictable steps so that everything will be transparent where there is a suspicion and questions should be opened up. someone just asked about deliveries of our nuclear technologies and prior to that there were questions regarding
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deliveries to turnaround. we have asked our u.s. partners and european counterparts to reveal their affect and as you know they withdrew the question. we did not assist iran to develop uranium enrichment technology nor did we provide assistance as far as manufacturer of state of the art missiles which iran has. it's very important as you correctly said where there are mutual suspicions there needs to be an ongoing dialogue channel and a channel for exchange of opinion and not just common opinion sort of general opinion but the level of experts when necessary we went to work appropriate ministry and engaged individuals who are working on nuclear development and we ask them and i think that is the only way that is capable of
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removing concerns. thank you very much for the question. it enables me to answer precisely in terms of our conference. >> the thing is that your question and now i have to decide what i will close to my heart, my ethnicity or the nation where i live and work permanently, and it's not unlike a question of what is more important, what matters important, what matters more to an individual, water or air, so to answer i have to say that both of the process these are equally important to me. as far as our conference, essentially neither party takes
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anybody is word for anything, and of a thousand year history of the two nations shows that both of them are right. one can only believe by specific arguments and the credibility of the messages have. so let us look at the the moment at hand should and the s.t.a.r.t. ii treaty. it seems to me -- it seems to me that it's quite definite that the international community has yet to appreciate its impact of the treaty which constitutes a gigantic breakthrough. the thing is that this treaty demonstrates the whole world to see what civilization will choice russia has made and that is russia was and remains
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committed to the atlantic values and civilization. while it holds on to its interest elsewhere including the middle east including taking into account the fact that israel is the main bulwark of the hero of mine took civilization and the middle east. these are the facts. therefore there is no contradiction whatsoever between the position of those who argue that it's not the parameters of the treaty that matter and it's not the parameters of the treaty that need to be evaluated today from the perspective as the fact that this treaty exists, and the mere fact this treaty exists already proves the situation worldwide.
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>> [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: in tv television companies in question. how real is the threat in your opinion and what effective measures can be taken to prevent this threat from materializing if you think it is likely? >> of the threat to whom would be the question number one. i believe that today iran uses the nuclear subject so to speak and statements regarding the potential use of the weapon that it does not yet have for propaganda purposes. there is no ground to believe both russian and american sources say that there is no ground to believe iran has nuclear weapons.
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i believe that the discussion to that effect so far remains in the realm of propaganda. not that it produced threat that has to do the development of nuclear technology as far as measures and actions that should be taken. i believe that any solution, and there can only be one solution that iran must not have nuclear weapons. there cannot be any other solution. so any solution can only be political. the sanctions that are being approved part of oxalate major to assist with the solution that can take place. the most effective action as far as i am concerned is the unity of the international community and counteracting the steps taken by the iranian leadership. from my perspective recently this unity has not been as
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strong as it used to be. not active enough had been the operations of the group five plus one. i don't you can live off of old baggage and what seemed like an effective measure 18 months ago no longer looks that effective. so i think that this unity needs to be brought to its former levels. we've seen initiatives from turkey, brazil and other countries and all of that, all of that is eating away a unity of the international community, and leadership should be held by the countries that are members of the group five plus one. i think the group needs to be reactivated and reinvigorated and the process needs to be reinvigorated. the process that helped us write a position where on the one hand iran should have the right to use nuclear power for peaceful
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purposes but against the background of extremely strict international supervision but would prevent iran from developing from turning the nuclear resources towards military applications would seem like a simple formula but simple as it sounds for it to become reality requires the unity of the international community only in the face of powerful pressure from the international community that iran will heed that opinion and search engaging in cooperation with the iea and other institutions. >> we are out of time so if you have one pressing issue or question, please step forward.
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>> [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: swedes he respected experts at this table and they are well-known russian experts from russia but why don't we have in the american experts of the same caliber at this table? scientists or researchers? >> we don't have any political figures at this table. we have former government officials here and luxembourg forum is a non-governmental organization and a lot of prominent american experts involved in the work of the panel but each specific session
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deals with specific issues. ambassador brooks is one of the most competent experts, and there were no secretary of state in the u.s. can come close to the level of expertise that this gentleman has. i know that a lot of current government officials in the state don't know a fraction of what this person knows. well, you know what happens, some people come to government service for a short period of time and they don't have time to learn everything but ambassador amassed a huge knowledge and disrespect is one of the most prominent representatives of
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american diplomatic corps. do you have any more questions will? okay. one more question. >> [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: a question to mr. kantor. since you represent and where to hats, you are referring to a jewish mother and being a on the export community here, so i was wondering what does your expert nuclear community think about the base in poland? i was there during the open
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house but what does your expert community think about it, and the community at large think about it? >> thank you very much. i don't understand how a jewish mother is relevant to your question, but in order to receive a specific answer to the question i would like to give the floor should to the general dvorkin. >> [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: this isn't an antiballistic base, it is an antiaircraft defense base in poland and has a noeth rett for russia. even the base and poland that was going to be the base for the ground-based interceptor would still they're no threat for
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russia so talking about potential threat from this facility is baseless. i don't understand your question. but we go back to what we were talking about. the issue is not in the launchers removed from one place to another. the question why are they deployed? if they are not pose any danger why is it done? >> obviously nothing is done without a particular purpose. so it would be difficult to explain this relocation of interceptors to deflect the potential threat so one doesn't have an adequate explanation. in the vacuum you would have a knee-jerk reaction. therefore the floors are
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important to reveal what is realistic and what is not. and i would say that some experts believe that this installation would not be of any threat even for iranians missiles. i can tell you what -- they said back in the day we had a soviet air defense systems at this very installation. now they are morally obsolete and we are replacing them with modern american ones. this is the kind of explanation the polish would give you. but in 2002, we learn about abm. there was a strategic partnership between the u.s. and russia and now we are strategic partners and abm, and americans and of course with a declaration, never gave advanced
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warning meter on the bush plan for obama plans. that's it, ladies and gentlemen. thank you very much. this press conference is over. >> one last question please? last question to mr. ivanov. this is about preventing a nuclear catastrophe and we mentioned a lot of iran. president mahmoud ahmadinejad is here and has all the microphones we can only dream of. you mentioned the fact we do not want to see iran with a nuclear power or nuclear arms. what do you think, i'm curious to know you as a member of the luxembourg forum of the option of the strike, what do you think about it?
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>> can you repeat police shortly your question? >> [inaudible] is an option or not? >> [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: i believe i already answered that particular question. i believe i answered that question. maybe you didn't hear me. the decision has to be a political decision. a military solution. i don't think it's within the realm of issues of our forum to look at military solutions. we will get the solutions that further strengthen the security. the military action would have possible unpredictable
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consequences, so we want our american colleagues what can happen after the beginning of war in iraq. there were a lot of unintended consequences and we can't calculate their own -- them all. as we look at the extreme cases. but work scenarios that would [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] is >> now we have remarks from senator klobuchar from minnesota. this is 15 minutes.
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in front of 500 people, our senior federal judge, introduced me as minnesota's senior citizen. that really happened to me. but this was a little better and i wanted to thank you again for your visit to minnesota. he impressed the entire group of hundreds of kids by one simple thing. i spent all this time getting ready. he gets up with his ipad and that's how he has remarks and they all cheer. they thought he was cool. i first wanted to say, i spoke with your group last year and i will never forget it because it was the most attentive audience
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and i remember, you guys understand, you shouldn't be distracted. everyone is actually listening. it's an amazing thing. i thank secretary lahood and being such a strong national voice on this issue. i'm going to talk about how important it is to change these laws and it is important to have leaders standing up and educating people which all of you are doing in your own jobs or your own community. i want to acknowledge chairman rockefeller, whose leadership on the commerce committee has truly made distracted driving a priority in the senate. he is tall and he speaks with much courage and people listen. so he is a great leader to have on this issue. it is fitting for me to speak not only for myself, but kind of in his place today. i have learned a lot since i got to washington about this whole issue of seniority.
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i have only been here a few years. my first major event in washington was before i got elected, i was the d.a. at the time and i got invited by president clinton to speak when he introduced some crime legislation. and i actually got the place to introduce him at this event in the east room. i was kind of nervous and i was standing outside and i had janet reno on one side, she is really tall, and i had the president on the other side and there was this military band and they started playing "hail to the chief" and i start walking in and all of a sudden i feel this big hand on my shoulder and this voice says, i know you're going to do great out there, but when i hear that song, i usually go first. that really happened to me. [laughter] >> since that time, i have learned the ways of seniority.
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>> i have a few friends from minnesota. she has a story that is going to remind us why we are here today. and you know so many of them across the country, 19-year-old driver of the car that killed lawyery's mom was swerving and look away from the road for something like 10 seconds while driving 70 miles an hour and that is 898 feet, three football field, no brakes and no skid marks on the road. the weather was perfect and the car was operating properly. how many times have we heard that story? lawyery has shared her story and raising awareness in our state. we have sean score, who is
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president of best buy mobile. best buy is a great minnesota company and being recognized to curb distracting driving among its employees and debbie is the founder of training wheels driver education which holds classes across minneapolis-st. paul. they have trained 34,000 minnesota teens to drive safely. and i have a new-found respect because my daughter just turned 15. she went to one of their competitors, bart's suburban driving school and came home with the craziest tales, one of which was mom, this is in the driver's manual. when you get up to water, like a big ocean or you get up to a river and there is one of those bridges that goes up, you always have to stop. i go, great. that's very helpful. the other thing in the driver's
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manual is, if you approach a line of children that are walking across the street, even if there isn't a traffic monitor, you have to stop. i tell these stories with some jest but having seen her learn to drive has put this in a new perspective for me and knowing she is a great kid, smart, well-behaved but how little they know when they start to drive and sadly many people in this room are well aware of what i'm talking about. before i came to the senate, i was a chief prosecutor for hennipin county. and one of the things i was struck, i campaigned on bringing violent crime down and all those kinds of things. what i was most struck by were the people killed or injured by drunk drivers, distracted drivers and what a major part of our work that was and something at that time, which is about 10, 15 years ago, no one was talking
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about that crime of crime of vehicle homicide which too many people in this room are familiar with. it is a crime and bugs me when it is referred to as an accident and you all know that in 2009, almost 5,000 crashes were linked to distracted driving, which is an increasing number of these zepts. i called it an accident, which resulted in 5,474 deaths and 548 ,000 injuries. these involved teens and jounge people, the highest of any age group. traffic crashes are the leading killer of teenagers. mile for mile, they are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as other drivers and those numbers are on the rise. between 1999 and 2008 the proportion of night-time fightal car crashes involving teenagers shot up 10% and there have been
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decreases in some of the traffic fatalities as a whole, but increase with these. you wonder what is the change and that is cell phone and texting. i know that texting and you all know is the main way that teenagers communicate today. that's how they talk to each other. that's how my daughter communicates. they found out that her best friend's boyfriend broke up with her. this is their life now. we have to realize that, but it makes the importance of this summit and education through the schools. as chairman rockefeller, we are busy working on legislation that would put an end to this. in june, the commerce committee passed legislation that would encourage more states to ban texting while driving. it is a carrot approach. i believe a stick approach would be nice, which would mean
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limiting the federal highway dollars if states didn't do it. that worked with .08 across the country. minnesota was the very last one to put one or last two or three to put.08 into law because i think there was some resistance in some of the rural areas of our state and i believe that has made a difference. and i hope we can look at that approach. another bill i co-sponsored with senator gillibrand of new york and senator dodd of new york, safe teen uniform protection act which david mentioned, the stand-up act would limit texting while driving. a graduated, three-state licensing process which goes from lerner's permit to intermediate to full. there are a number of states that don't do this and that is helpful for kids to gain maturity and knowledge as they
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advance to different abilities to drive and different requirements. at the lerner's permit and intermediate stages, it would prohibit all use of cell phones and communication devices except in the case of an emergency. the other piece of this, something we're working on, senator dorgan, students taking responsibility, stars act for short, training to elevate teens, educate teens about the dangers of drunk driving, distracted driving, speeding and not wearing a seat belt. what i said last year when i was here is that texting while driving is like playing russian rule et and no text message is worth dying for. a based on the conference we did in minnesota with teens across the state is that there is a lot more work to be done here. and i took away this year these three things i wanted to share
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with you. from now on, when i speak to groups of kids, i'm using the ipad. second, laws are important, but these education efforts are equally important. that's what you are doing here today. and we need to improve the laws, but once you get the commercials out there, once you have leaders like transportation secretary lahood, who is willing to say it over and over and over again on national media, that makes a difference. and we have to remember that. i know sometimes you probably get depressed, are we making a difference here when these teens are still texting. remember, we have changed society many times through leaders speaking out. i think that's what happened with the seat belt laws, right? not everyone is going to get arrested when they don't wear a seat belt but it's the message out there over and over again, with cops, people saying with credibility with people in our community. same thing with domestic abuse.
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that was something people whispered years ago. we brought it into the sunlight. there are historical examples that should inspire you for the work you are doing as we move forward. the third thing we learned it's not just students that are causing the problem. they were very clear in saying my parents are doing the same thing. my daughter made me watch "saturday night live" and had different things like rummaging in the bag for a sweateror getting to nordstrom's on time and what parents do that are wrong. and i think that's important to keep in mind as more and more parents are starting to texan having that as a way to communicate, it's not just about teens and it's an important message tore the teens as well. it makes us feel as hypocrites.
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last thing i wanted to focus on which your panel is going to talk about is the changes that have happened on the legislative level. all across the country, we are seeing new efforts to stop distracted driving. 15 states are enacted stopping texting bans. in my state, we have organized a new film contest. student teams from across the state create 30-second commercials aimed at discouraging peers while using their team. the high school in stillwater high school saw it debut during the video music awards. i'm sure it didn't get as much attention as lady gaga's raw beef outfit but it did send an important message. we have a stake in keeping our roads safe. the other thing that is
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changeing is more and more companies getting involved and companies can send outside messages but many employ hundreds of thousands of people and influencing their own employees can make a big difference. i told you how we found out how an employee was boasting while he was driving on government time and i sent the email out and said this isn't going to be tolerated. you see more companies doing that. allstate has teamed up with the jonas brothers by upon soaring baseball games to send a message and take the jonas brothers' pledge do not text while driving. that has made our roads safer. the companies mandating hands-free devices while driving. in company cars, cell phone use
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of any kind is prohibited. those are the examples i know you will talk about today that get us outside of the legislative arena but are influential. as we look back at the actions since last year's summit, i think about the family who is here in washington last year. they lost their daughter in november, 2007, with a distracted driver crash. she had been a student at the university of wisconsin at mad ison and on her way back home to the twin cities for fall break. she was planning to take a greyhound bus but decided to catch a ride with another student. this student turned around while she was driving to look for a napkin in the back seat of her s.u.v. she lost control of the car and smashed into a concrete pillar of an underpass. in that split second, this girl was killed. she was 19 years old.
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this family has shown tremendous courage and turned their loss into a cause of action. they launched a memorial foundation in their daughter's honor and provides college grants for college-bound high school seniors. the foundation sponsored a walk in the twin cities to remember those killed in vehicle crashes and raise awareness of distracted driving. no family should have to endure what they went through, no 19-year-old should have to die because someone reached into the back seat of their car to get a napkin. no 17-year-old should die because a friend wanted to change a song on their ipod. it's going to take us as parents, leaders in washington, policy makers, business leaders and educators to make sure that what happened to that young girl that would happen all of these kids all over the country and all of the people that have been victims of distracted driving that we put an end to it.
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i'll end with one story, my daughter since i have told so many stories at her expense and fortunately she's not here, but when she was four years old, she was in a church play, nativity play and she was to play the angel. and we were at the rehearsal and sitting in the pews and had a costume with huge angle wings and wouldn't go to the front. and i said why won't you go up there. you have the best part. she said, no, i don't want to be the angel. she said i want to be the donkey. and i looked over there was two teenaged boys looking hot and sweaty in this costume and i said tommy and joey, you cannot be the donkey. i want to be mary. i said you are not tall enough. i don't know why you want to be the angel. she finally looks way up to the top of the church and she said
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mom, it's because i can't fly. and i looked at her, and i said you know what, honey? not all angels fly. and i have to say to you today, you are the guardian angels for these people that you will never meet ever. kids that might have that split second and make a decision not to do that text to look away and not kill a bunch of people in their car. you are the ones standing up to look out for them as their angels. thanks for being an attentive audience and good luck in your conference today and thank you, secretary lahood, for your great leadership. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> congressman howard berman from california on the nuclear threat posed by iran. the chairman of the house
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foreign affairs committee spoke today for strategic and international studies. it's 30 minutes. >> i'm delighted to be introducing chairman of the house committee on foreign affairs, howard berman. imtation may be the sincere form of flattery, but washington's sincerest form of admiration is noting one's own most cherished qualities in others. by this measure, our speaker today has the admiration of a remarkably broad spectrum of powerful individuals. an academic from his district told me he is a huge fan and saying chairman berman is very thoughtful. the "almanac" says he is one of
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the clearest members of the house. the array of people who describe him as a good friend covers all parts of the political spectrum and he has made significant legislative contribution in areas ranging from global policy, to intellectual property to trade. chairman berman, who represents parts of the sanfer nan do valley -- sanfernando valley. after working for five years as a labor lawyer, he was elected to the california state assembly in 1973. in 1974, the youngest majority leader in the history of that body demonstrating the quiet but political at try beauties. he has been a member of congress since 1982, serving on the foreign affairs committee which he has chaired since 2008 and
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judiciary committee. his time at the house, he authored amendments that reinvigorated the false claims act that protects whistle blowers. those efforts have saved the united states government billions of dollars. he has been an innovator and created a lottery that allows 20,000 people to emgreat to the united states not based on their family ties but only their burning desire for a better life. consistent voice on foreign affairs not only to strengthen the u.s.-israel relationship, but taking important positions on india, pakistan and sudan and other issues. his leading role on iran. this past spring he led legislative efforts to tighten u.s. sanctions on iran that denied banking access to the
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revolutionary guard corps and inhibit investments on trade. through his hard work, intellect, chairman berman has won the admiration of many in government. as one californiaian active in politics said, he is the conscience and the dad of the california delegation. in this era of term limits, he is the constant and has knowledge on issues in the congress and the legislature that is rare. it is rare indeed and my special pleasure to introduce you to representative hourled berman. [applause] -- representative howard berman. [applause] >> quite an introduction. thank you. as i looked around the room and saw some of my friends in the defense contractor community, i was wishing you hadn't mentioned
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my position in the false claims act legislation, but never mind. [laughter] >> it's great to be here, john. and thank you very much. it's an honor to speak to the c.s.i. middle east gulf round table. i wanted to do it for a number of reasons. one, a long time -- not sometimes less frequently than at other times, but since i really first came to congress, a long relationship with csis. used to have great conferences that i was invited to in williamsburg and they were violations of ethics rules or something. but they were wonderful. [laughter] >> when i did it, it was by definition, ethical. [laughter] >> went to china with the group back in the late 1990's and i
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have great regard for the leader of the john henley program and a special appeal was this particular round table is sponsored by the u.a.e. and i have come to have a chance over the last few years since i became chairman, to work with the ambassador from u.a.e. who is here today with us. and whenever i think there is something inherently -- always going to be conflict in the middle east and nothing can ever happen, i think of someone like that and think there is another way. so i'm honored to be part of his lecture series. i want to mention two staff people who are with me. i have an excellent staff. my counsel to our committee, shawna winters is back there
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tending bar. [laughter] >> and robert marcus who works with alan on my middle east issues. another reason i wanted to come is because you asked me to talk about iran. and i have become obsessed with that subject. the csis gulf round table seeks to build a greater understanding of the complexities of the gulf region. as we all know, the gulf is not lacking in such complexities. for example, u.s. combat operations in iraq have officially ended, but iraq is struggling to form a government and build a stable nation state in a land with a diverse population and a long and contentious history. saudi arabia, which poses much of the world's known petroleum reserves and often accused of turning a blind eye of trirt
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financing is led by an 86-year-old monarch and its future is clouded by a lack of clarity about succession in the next generation. quatar is blessed with natural gas resources, which it has turned into incredible wealth and home to the u.s. fifth fleet, but also shares the defense cooperation agreement with iran and mants strong ties to hamas. the small island kingdom of bahrain has a mixed sunni population. yet despite all of these challenges there is one gulf country, iran, that presents by far the greatest challenge and threat to the gulf, israel, the united states and the international community. preventing iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability is an absolute necessity for our national interests. and as chairman of the house
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foreign affairs committee, i have made that my number one priority. iran reportedly now has enough low-than ritched uranium to create one to two nuclear weapons and perhaps only one year away from perfecting the necessary technology to build and detonate a functional bomb. with such a capability, iran would be virtually impervious to u.s. and international diplomatic pressure and would pursue its human rights abuses at home and abroad. iran's terrorist partners in iraq as well as hezbollah in lebanon and hamas in gaza and west bank would be emboldened. intimidated regimes would make political accommodation with the new nuclear power in order to ensure their survival. for example, they could suck couple to iranian -- succumb to
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iranian prushes and with weapons would have increased leverage in opec which could lead to massive increases in the price of oil and pro vehicle its larger neighbors to pursue their own nuclear weapons program which would destroy the nonproliferation regime. in worst case scenarios, iran might share its technology with terrorists or may use its arms as an offensive weapon. that last possibility can't be totally dismissed, especially in the case of a regime that is so idealogically driven and so little regard for human life that have sent thousands of its own children to their deaths as human mine sweepers during the iran-iraq war. israelis justifiably fear for their future if iran becomes nuclear weapons capable. we need a solution to this problem and it's important it be
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a peaceful solution. i strongly supported president obama's diplomatic outreach to iran and it has not resip indicated. it merelyly deepened international suspicion. under these circumstances, we had no choice but to pursue hard-nosed sanctions. the other two options strikes against iran nuclear installations or even worse, accepting iran as a nuclear weapons state are more risky with far more dire consequences to u.s., regional and international security stability. the comprehensive iran sanctions accountability difficult investment act of 2010, which passed two houses and signed into law by president obama on july 1, is an important
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contribution to the international effort to ratchet up pressure on the iranian regime. through a variety of measures, it aims to force foreign companies and banks to choose between the u.s. market and the iranian market. it specifically takes aim at foreign businesses and financial institutions that provide financial service to iranian entities, including the islamic revolutionary guard corps. additionally, our legislation targets foreign companies that sell iran refined petroleum or assists iran in developing or maintaining its own domestic refining capacity. like buys wise, it sanctions companies that helps iran to develop its energy sector and provides a legal framework which u.s. states, local governments and certain other investors can
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die investigate their portfolios of foreign companies and establishes a mechanism to address concerns about diversion of sensitive technologies to iran through other countries. we introduced this bill in april of 2009 and we were under great pressure to pass it immediately. my colleagues and i deefered action until the obama administration had sufficient time to pursue this policy of engagement and then to get greater buy-in for tougher multilateral sanctions. by deferring action until the security council had acted, our bill has been met with significant international acceptance. one important result of that is that the european union long the source of so much of iran's- energy related technology stands united with us in the sanctions effort, a very far cry from the
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situation when the original iran-libya sanctions act was passed in 1996. in fact the european union and others, including canada, australia, norway, japan and south korea have now imposed their own sanctions. virtually every western energy company has now agreed to cease sales of refined petroleum to iran and refrain from investments in iran's energy sector. following the passage, most banks in the united arab emirates, an portrayeding partner, stopped money transfers to iran. press reports have indicated sanctions have cut in half exports with dubai. south korean sanctions have suspended the iran bank in seoul. the bank is a known facilitator of iran's proliferation
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activities and south korea is iran's fourth largest trading parter. the impact is significant. based on our discussion with the korean government. the banks's operations have been shut down for good. japan have recently announced sanctions that target iranian entities and individuals of proliferation concern, including iranian banks, the islamic revolutionary guard corps and the iranian shipping lines. these sanctions, along with the prohibition on the transfer of proliferation-sensitive dual-use items to iran and new investment or sale of goods, services to iran's energy sector, will deepen iran's isolation to the financial, industrial and energy sectors. japan, like korea and u.a.e., is a major trading partner with iran. i recognize the significant step
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these countries are taking with their actions. in some cases, powerful local business interests have fought tooth and nail against these actions and i applaud their determination and courage. i hope other nations that are involved in the iranian economy soon choose to make the same sacrifices for the greater good and safety of the international community. in the end, everyone's interests are served by preventing iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability. if the u.s., u.n., e.u. and other sanctions against iran are properly enforced, iran will now essentially be unable to purchase vital parts for its refineries other than through the black market as some of the necessary equipment is available ofrpbl from western firms. we have -- only from western firms. iran is starting to feel the squeeze. a treasury undersecretary went into some detail in his csis
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speech yesterday. nevertheless, it is still early and no definitive conclusions can be drawn yet about the impact sanctions may have on iranian government addition making. the obama administration appears serious about pursuing sanctions. secretary clinton has appointed and they are serious about pursuing sanctions. secretary of state clinton has appointed to head the efforts in the state department and he has assembled a great staff. so you know he is talented. at treasury, under secretary levy continues his work in unmasking iranian individuals and financial institutions involved in terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. and warning the rest of the world's financial institutions about them. earlier this month, the treasury
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department designated four sanctions, the german bank, e.i.h., one of the few banks actively fa sill tating business. it will isolate e.i.h. as the international community begins to implement sanctions, it may be that china, russia and others, relying on a strictly literal interpretation of the u.n. security council resolution 1929, may step up sales of refined petroleum to iran and otherwise try to move into areas of the iran energy market vacated by others. indeed, several chinese companies already appear to be engaged in sanctional activities. we need to redouble our efforts to convince china and others that a nuclear-armed iran is a threat not only to the physical security of the region but the stability of energy markets. and i think it's fair to say in
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the leadup to all of this, both saudi arabia and the e.u. may persuade china of that fact. congress will remain deeply engaged on this issue. i have established a congressional monitoring group that will closely follow sanctions and will meet regularly were administration and foreign officials. we are committed to making sanctions work. my goal, however, isn't just to squeeze iran's economy to make them suffer or punish them. my goal is to try and create a dynamic to change iran's mind. we want the iranian leadership to conclude that its uranium enrichment program and other efforts simply aren't worth the costs. i believe sanctions are most viable, effective and peaceful means of achieving that goal. if, as many believe, it turns out that iran is committed to its nuclear arms program at any
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cost, then it will have to consider the implications of that further down the line. and with that, i think i'll stop talking and i don't know if there is room in your schedule -- >> there is room in our schedule, sir. and we would be delighted if you had a few moments to take some questions. we have some hand-held mics. >> i have talked so long that i have a little time, but not a huge amount. >> due to the chairman's constraints, identify yourselves, ask only one question and those of you know, statements ending, what do you think of my statement aren't really questions. just ask genuine questions. first question right over here. >> i'm from "financial times qument of." >> you talked about how
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sanctions were the most peaceful and most effective mode of putting pressure on iran. how much time do you think sanctions have to succeed and how important is it that the administration imposes sanctions on something that it has been reluctant to do in the past. >> to say the least. first of all, just one quick, i guess it's a shoutout to the "financial times," but they are a great source of information to me on what companies are doing. [laughter] >> that's what is called access to classified information. [laughter] >> secondly, i think it is -- i think we're talking months, not years. and i think no one expected that a day after the u.n. acted and we acted and others acted, iran
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would be shouting uncle or let's come to the table. and so i'm not surprised that at this particular point there hasn't been any indication, but given what our goal is here, i think we -- it's a matter of months. i don't want to get pinpointed from now that we have to start seeing this working before people start losing faith. and a key part of making this effective is just what you alluded to in your question. a sanctions regime, which has caused a lot of companies to terminate or to begin the removal of their business relationships that i discussed in my talk, a sanctions regime that doesn't lead to sanctions
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will soon lose whatever deterrent effect its had. it is essential that investigations begin and obviously where companies choose to change the nature of their commercial relationships, that should be taken into consideration. but where they don't, sanctions should be imposed and not waived. and i think the whole credibility of everything else that's going on depends on people expecting to have that happen. >> sir, if i could ask you a question. what is your sense of decision process on the nuclear file in iran snr is this an issue principally of them making gestures or are you seeking to influence the president or are you seeking to influence a group of decision makers?
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when you took the actions that you intended to have a desired effect, what is the iranian audience for the sanctions? >> my assumption from everything i have been told to expect about iran that at the end of the day, different views and pressures are important, but ultimately, it's the supreme leader that has to give the go-ahead. and when he doesn't, it's apparently was the case after that agreement in principle on last october 1, things don't happen. but the test isn't about specific things on the ground, but it's the suspension of enrichment and allowing the i.a.e.a. to go to places they were denied access to and that's
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how we know whether that program is being suspended and ultimately terminated. >> danny seabright. against the time line you mentioned about iran possibly acquiring a weapon, if you were a thoughtful, prudent leader in the middle east, you would be thinking ahead to what measures you would need to take, let's just say from a deterrent standpoint. from your position on capitol hill, what would you support? what recommendations would you make on our friends and allies in the region of things they should be doing, could do, that the hill would be supportive in the months and years ahead as they prepare for deterrence. >> as a prudent and sensible
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congressman get into that? [laughter] >> in this venue? i obviously -- i mean, i acknowledge i don't know whether the strategy is going to produce the result and that a decision will be made after that. i don't think it makes a lot of sense for me to go off and speculate on what those alternatives are. all i know is, any of the other alternatives have serious consequences, only some of which we can imagine. and you got to drill down on that, so to speak. >> you mentioned iran's human rights record. could you talk about what more the united states might do to speak out about human rights violations in iran and to support those working for
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democratic reform in iran. >> well, the legislation that i spoke in some detail about, but never once touched on any of the provisions dealing with this, that legislation modified the codified embargo on iran to allow the export of certain equipment and technologies to the dissidents to communicate and have over overcome their efforts to snuff out their technology. on the other side of the coin, we imposed procurement sanctions on companies that are providing technology to the government to enhance their ability and facilitate their ability to suppress speech and communication and particularly
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in the digital world. and i think we have an obligation to talk about those issues. the only thing i guess i caution about, because there are some in this town who, i believe, truly believe that the clock for change in iran is moving fast enough to resolve the issue of this regime with nuclear weapons. i start from a different premise that i unfortunately, whatever i might wish doesn't matter. i don't see that clock moving that fast. and so, for me, my primary focus is on doing what we can to
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diminish the possibility and prevent the possibility that they have a nuclear weapon capability. but we just can't turn our back on these people and it's not our nature and it's not our way. and we have tried to do things that are positive here. i know there are some criticisms about that. but i do think it's legitimate to go through a careful process of what can we say that can help and be useful, whether it's simply psychological in terms of the people who want a feeling that we're on their side or in terms of the practical situation in iran. >> we have time for one last question. all the way in the back. >> not you. >> i would like to take you to
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lebanon and ask you about the aide for the lebanese army -- >> after you have taken me there? [laughter] >> we could, maybe after this, but have you been discussing it with your the lebanese officials, defense ministers? do you plan to enlist the help? >> perhaps as a result of the hold, the administration has done an interagency review about the program. they have completed that review. and they just -- and i want to know what that review concluded, what our goals are. i didn't put on that hold in order to kill the program. i was -- i was honestly puzzled
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about what we're seeking to gain from the assistance and how we would be squared with what we want to gain. i was a strong supporter when it originated back in the middle of this past decade. whether we are still able to achieve those goals. there is a process and i'm not going to sit there and leave it like this. and while i have not yet -- i have some appointments on my calendar to talk, i have not talked with lebanese officials. i believe i have spoken with every lebanese american in this country -- no. [laughter] >> certainly in my district. >> speaking of your calendar. i'm grateful for you spending the time with us, for honoring us. thank you all for coming and look forward to seeing you all again. again. [applause]